Another rejection, followed by another moment of sadness.
I considered declaring an English major throughout my entire fall semester. I wanted to drop whatever quantitative courses I was taking and pursue my passions in writing for the rest of my life. Writing, after all, had been my one passion independent of whatever external validators my environment created. It had been the one part of me that felt organic and unadulterated by the opinions of my parents and peers.
But then, I started to apply for summer internships. And just as the idea came, so too did it dissipated into the hidden parts of my mind where it incepted from.
I’ve talked to many writers in my consideration to go into writing full-time. Each said roughly the same thing: the path of writing is a path of loneliness. And bitterness. Days upon days in the room of an apartment trying to create a body of writing for the approval of others. Sometimes, it would be worth it; an editor may read the essay you wrote about a travel romance that sounds enticing for a magazine and pays you $200 for the 30 hours you spent writing it. Sometimes not.
Is this the life I want, the starving artist aesthetic? It certainly would be an interesting life experience. The romanticization of living frugally in the pursuit of one’s passions — I could imagine myself living with such a life. But what gets me is the loneliness. Would I be able to hole up in my windowless apartment in Brooklyn trying to capture life in New York without actually experiencing life in New York? Maybe. It seems like one of those experiences that I could not fathom until I have actually lived through it.
But it’s not a risk I need to take or even want to take, for that matter. I could live my life according to an aesthetic conception perpetuated by popular culture, or I could pick a path that is both intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling. And, for me, writing, although . I can go on for hours at a time sitting in a coffee shop to scribble a thought onto a Word document. I could re-read the same New York Times Modern Love article for the third time and still awe at the stylistic choices. But I cannot live my life as a writer.
Because, for me, the moment I consider something to be a career is the moment that my passions stop being passions. They become jobs. And like most jobs, you grow to hate them.